Thursday, July 27, 2017

day no. 14,157: an unforced hand

Genesis 9:12
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

No one forced God's hand to extend such grace. No one had thought or dared to ask it of Him. He initiated it and He introduced it of His own free will. It was His idea and He led out in putting it into place. He wanted this assurance to be known.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

day no. 14,156: a reckoning

Genesis 9:5-7
From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in His own image.
And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.
God will require a reckoning. The currency is blood. It belongs to God and whoever withdraws it from another will be required to pay it back.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

day no. 14,155: the crucifixion

Spurgeon introduced me to this poem/hymn back in March (the 31st) while reading Morning & Evening.

Now, from the garden to the cross,
Let us attend the Lamb of God.
Be all things else accounted dross,
Compared with sin-atoning blood.
See how the patient Jesus stands,
Insulted in his lowest case!
Sinners have bound the Almighty’s hands!
And spit in their Creator’s face!
With thorns his temples gored and gashed,
Send streams of blood from every part!
His back’s with knotted scourges lashed,
But sharper scourges tear his heart!
Nailed naked to the accursed wood,
Exposed to earth and heaven above,
A spectacle of wounds and blood,
A prodigy of injured love!
Hark! how his doleful cries affright
Affected angels, while they view!
His friends forsook him in the night,
And now his God forsakes him too!
O what a field of battle’s here;
Vengeance and love their powers oppose!
Never was such a mighty pair;
Never were two such desperate foes.
Behold that pale, that languid face,
That drooping head, those cold dead eyes!
Behold in sorrow and disgrace,
Our conquering Hero hangs and dies!
Ye that assume his sacred name,
Now tell me what can all this mean?
What was it bruised God’s harmless Lamb?
What was it pierced his soul, but sin?
Blush, Christian, blush; let shame abound;
If sin affects thee not with woe,
Whatever spirit be in thee found,
The Spirit of Christ thou dost not know.

Monday, July 24, 2017

day no. 14,154: multiplying fruitfulness

Genesis 9:1-4
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
Creation mandate 2.0: Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Be faith and fruit filled in your living, make more of you with your wives, and spread out to show the rest of Creation that there is a God in heaven!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

day no. 14,153: what is a disciple without discipline?

2 Samuel 7:14-15
I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him
Love and discipline are not at odds according to the Bible. If you love, you discipline. When you discipline, you do so in love. You are a missionary, on a rescue mission, lovingly training your children to walk in the way of the Lord.
"I love them too much to spank them," knows neither the value of real instruction nor the perseverance of true love.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

day no. 14,152: two truths

Genesis 8:21
the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth."
Those are two dramatic things to say made all the more dramatic by the fact that they are said back to back. Let's break this down: God says He will never curse the ground again. Like, ever. That is HUGE!!! And then He points out that this isn't because man deserves it. He knows what He is getting Himself into.  He knows that the people He chooses to love are people who will choose to love evil. God chooses who He will love and then He commits to love His choice.

Friday, July 21, 2017

day no. 14,151: salvation and sacrifice

Genesis 8:20
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Salvation and sacrifice have always gone hand in hand.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

day no. 14,150: ...but God

Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah
Despite everything going on around him, Noah had this one very important thing going for him: he was on God's mind.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

day no. 14,149: never alone

Genesis 7:23
Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.
Elijah felt alone, but God had saved back 7,000. Noah was alone with only 7 saved back.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

day no. 14,148: forty

Genesis 7:17
The flood continued forty days on the earth.
"40" is the number of testing with judgment that follows as observed in many Biblical texts.
It rained here for 40 days and 40 nights
Moses will flee to the wilderness and be a shepherd for 40 years.
Moses will spend 40 days and 40 night on Mt. Sinai
Moses will spend 40 days and 40 nights pleading for Israel
The most lashes by Law one could receive was 40
The spies of Israel spent 40 days observing the promised land of Canaan
Israel would wander for 40 years for not believing Caleb and Joshua's report
Israel served Philistia 40 years before Samson set them free
Goliath taunted Israel for 40 days before David showed up and ended his boasts
Elijah ran 40 days away from Jezebel when she threatened to kill him
Nineveh had 40 days warning that they were about to be destroyed
Jesus spent 40 days in the desert being tempted
Jesus spent 40 days on earth after His resurrection before He ascended
The Bible never states specifically that 40 means something, but it does frequently show up as a character or plot device in many stories.

Monday, July 17, 2017

day no. 14,147: called, commanded, sealed and saved

Genesis 7:16
And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.
All those who went in, were safely in and kept in by God Himself. He called, He commanded, He sealed and He saved.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

day no. 14,146: believes, receives, achieves

Genesis 6:22
Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
Noah's faith was observed in his doing what God had commanded him. Faith saves every time because faith believes the warning, receives the promise, and achieves the good works that lead one out of the storm and into sanctuary.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

day no. 14,145: the torrents of God's unabated wrath

Genesis 6:18
But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.
And yet the covenant will survive the torrents of God's unabated wrath by a warning, a promise, a way of escape and a man's faith in all three. If Noah didn't heed the warning, he would have died. If he believed the warning but didn't believe the promise of rescue, he would have died. If he believed the warning and the promise, but didn't apply himself to the work God had given him, his faith and hope would have been drowned out.

Friday, July 14, 2017

day no. 14,144: an ocean of air

Genesis 6:17
For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.

We live in an ocean of air so familiar that we are likely to forget it -- just as a fish forgets he's wet. Everything we need, even something as simple as air, is given and can be taken away.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

day no. 14,143: all flesh had corrupted their way

Genesis 6:11-12
Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

Each and every one of us has been so radically corrupted by sin as to find ourselves totally depraved. This doesn't mean we cannot do any good, rather it points out that even the good we do is corrupted or tainted in some degree by sin.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

day no. 14,142: duel with dust

Genesis 5:28-29
When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.”

If you believe your primary conflict is with the ground, that war will one day be over… and the ground will have won. It will devour your corpse just like it drank your sweat during the days of your life. But our conflict is not against flesh, blood or dirt, but against God who gives the spirit of life. And everyone loses that war unless God provides a safe haven.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

day no. 14,141: a penchant to pursue

Genesis 5:1-3
This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.

In the image and likeness of Adam, all subsequent generations would be fathered, containing a remnant of what it meant to be made for God's glory combined with a penchant to pursue self-interest.

Monday, July 10, 2017

day no. 14,140: serpent crusher search committee

Genesis 5
The search for the Seed of Eve had begun. While each of the families listed boast of many sons and daughters, the story focuses on one son from each generation and the passing of that particular baton forward. The search for the Serpent Crusher was laying down bread crumbs to follow the evidence back to God's promise in the Garden.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

day no. 14,139: on your marks... get set... trip!

Genesis 4:25-26
And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.
The promise God made to mankind was that through their progeny, One would come who would eventually put an end to death by a swift kick to the serpent's skull. With Abel in the ground and Cain AWOL, that plan seemed to be off to a rocky start. But God provided Adam and Eve with Seth who produced offspring who called again upon the Lord. So while death seemed to quickly rule and reign after the fallout of the Garden, life by God's design passed the baton forward hoping to find the One who would rule and reign over death.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

day no. 14,138: let the dogs devour him

Genesis 4:13
Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear."

Yeah Cain, it must be rough. I'm sorry to hear that being held accountable for killing your brother is turning out to be so hard for you. I wonder how you'll ever survive it.

That would have been my response, but…

Genesis 4:15
the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.

My heart is all, "let the dogs devour him," but God shows mercy and places a mark on Cain that protects him from being murdered. It does not, however, protect him in the long run from his decision to be separated from God and His people.

Friday, July 7, 2017

day no. 14,137: is being accepted what you still want?

Genesis 4:7
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.

Cain, you know what to do. I haven't given you a command too confusing or too difficult. You can do this and you can be accepted, but I cannot accept anything other than what I've told you specifically to do. It is within your capacity to understand and to perform. You have chosen to do things your way and you are in danger. Repent. Change your mind. Do what you've been told, the way you've been told to do it. Please. Say, "No," to whatever story you are telling yourself. The bald facts are that I am willing to accept you, even now, if you will just do what I've clearly asked. So it is back on you, "Is being accepted what you still want?"

Thursday, July 6, 2017

day no. 14,136: know it all

Genesis 4:1
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord."
Of all the euphemisms that have been created to describe sex, "knowing" has got to be the most profoundly accurate.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

day no. 14,135: whether for death or for life

2 Samuel 15:21
But Ittai answered the king, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.”
Ittai is legit. David tried to give him an out previously in vs. 20, but rather than take it, it only strengthened Ittai's resolve. Much like when Jesus asked, "Do you want to go away as well?” to which Peter replied, "Where else would we go? We're with You."
Ittai was a man who chose his love and then loved his choice. He would rather die as David's servant than live as his own king.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

day no. 14,134: masculiner

God is MORE masculine than any of us
With respect to Him, all other souls are feminine

God is HUSBAND, we are BRIDE
God initiates, we respond
God woos and pursues, we faint
God opens doors, we walk through them
God purchases our salvation, we accept His gift

God is DAD to all fathers
God instructs, we follow
God disciplines, we are trained

God is KING of all kings
God rules, we bow
God reigns, we lay prostrate

God is COMMANDER of all armies
God gives orders, we follow them
God wins, we receive from His spoils

God is HEAD of all heads
God is over, we are under

Monday, July 3, 2017

day no. 14,133: a great chasm has been fixed

Genesis 3:22-24
Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

The sin of Adam and Eve broke the relationships between God and man, man and man, man and Eden, and man and nature. Living forever in that state would be a living hell. Eternal life that is life indeed now would require a Mediator between God and man, man and man, and a brand new Heaven and earth in order to be put right again.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

day no. 14,132: skin for skin

Genesis 3:21
And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
God covered the shame of Adam and Eve. Sin spoiled the unashamed place of being naked before God (Gen. 2:25), but God provided a way for them to be clothed before Him and each other in right standing. The skins that covered them required something else to die. Blood was shed in order to cover the sins of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve lived without shame because something else died.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

day no. 14,131: the mother of all living

Genesis 3:20
The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Adam believed the Good News by naming his wife, Eve – the mother of all living. The curse just revealed she would be the mother of all the dying. Because of sin, everyone, as God had said, will now die. But Adam doesn't name her the mother of all who will die, but the mother of all who will live and the One who will live, die, rise and live forever will be born as a result of her maternity.

Friday, June 30, 2017

day no. 14,130: thorns, thistles and sweat

Genesis 3:17-19
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
Because Adam was made from the ground, his connection to the ground will suffer as a result of his sin and the work of keeping the garden will now be much harder than it has to be. His work in providing for Eve going forward will be complicated by thorns, thistles and sweat.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

day no. 14,129: the hurt and the help

Genesis 3:16
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”

Because Eve is the glory of man, who was made from man, her curse is connected to the process of mankind being made through her. In addition, her sin in stepping out from under the protection of the authoritative order will now be manifested in the struggle to remain safely under it. Having children and helping her husband will both be much harder as a result.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

day no. 14,128: a firmly planted heel

Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her Offspring;
He shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise His heel.

Jesus does not have mercy on the serpent. He has enmity. His heel was bruised because of the force He applied to Satan's skull when He planted it firmly down.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

day no. 14,127: excusable evils

“Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.” – GK Chesterton
Which sins do you take more seriously than others?

Monday, June 26, 2017

day no. 14,126 continued... displacement

Genesis 3:12
The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
Adam tried to place his sin on to others.
Jesus took others sins and placed them on Himself.

day no. 14,126: callista janelle

Callista Janelle,
This morning at 2:46 am after your mom was admitted to the hospital at 12:26 am, you got born. I say, "got born," instead of, "were born," only to reinforce the fact that you had very little to do with your own birth. Your role was passive, not active. You were a recipient, not a participant. You were acted upon, not an actor (or actress in your case). But nevertheless, here you are. You were born at 8 lbs 5 oz and 19 1/2 inches. You were conceived, grown and delivered. These were actions done for you without your help. You were chosen to be here. You are loved even though you do not love in return. You are served even though you do not serve. You are precious even though you have not done anything. You are cherished even though you do not say, "Thank you." I love you little lady, always have, always will, no matter what, forever and ever, amen! This is your first lesson. We can love because we were first loved. Your birth teaches you something about God. Jesus once told Nicodemus that one must be reborn to enter the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus naturally responded in bewilderment asking how someone could be born again. How could I climb back up into my mother? That doesn't seem possible. But Jesus was not implying Nicodemus needed to physically be born again, He was inferring that just as our physical birth was chosen for us and completed for us by someone else, so our second birth is chosen for us and completed for us by Someone else. May God grant you by His Spirit a second birth. Just as you will enjoy the physical life you have been handed, I pray you will enter into and enjoy a spiritual life that is offered freely by finished work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Today marks a beginning for you in our space and time. May it be but the first of many beginnings you experience as God makes all things new, even you if by grace you place your faith in Jesus Christ for the glory of God ALONE!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

day no. 14,125 continued... dead as a door bell

Genesis 3:9
But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

When a house is in disorder, the man must answer to God.

day no. 14,125: the hiding place

Genesis 3:8
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

A sinful response to sin is to hide from God behind trees.
A repentant response to sin is to hide from God behind Jesus.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

day no. 14,124: relationship to reality

Genesis 3:7
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Adam and Eve were naked before they ate the fruit, but now they felt embarrassed to be naked. The facts remained unchanged, but their feelings about the facts were forever altered. Their relationship to reality was forever broken.

Friday, June 23, 2017

day no. 14,123: once ignorable objects

Genesis 3:6
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Sin always tries to make anything off limits seem more attractive merely by its unattainability. It makes things once ignorable into objects of infatuation by their allusiveness. The tree looked the same before the serpent spoke as it did afterward, but it looked differently to Eve after he had placed his spin on things.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

day no. 14,122: prideful aspiration vs humble condescension

Genesis 3:4-5
4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The essence of sin is substituting oneself for God. The essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for us. The Fall was a product of prideful aspiration and the Cross was a product of humble condescension.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

day no. 14,121: a crack in the seal

Genesis 3:2-3
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

God never told Eve that she could not touch the tree. Eve added that. But when we defend God by adding to His instruction, we actually take away from His authority. It's called subtraction by addition. We give the serpent a crack in the seal into which he inserts some dirt into an otherwise pure environment.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

day no. 14,120: information vs. insurrection

Genesis 3:1
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

It isn't a sin to ask God questions, but questioning God's intentions can lead to sin. The serpent wasn't looking for information, he was inciting an insurrection.